Featured ProjectHush Hush
For all those complicated love and sex dilemmas, Hush Hush is your trusted, confidential mentor who helps you make the best decisions.
Where We Started
From asking about the weather, historical facts, and even what “quid pro quo” means, many of us have used a virtual assistant—such as Alexa, Siri, or Google—to make our daily lives a bit easier and entertaining. The nifty voice-activated technologies have become ubiquitous; we find them on our phones, in our homes and offices, and even in schools. These virtual assistants perform simple tasks, like confirming facts and playing our favorite beats and even helping us meditate, or dimming lights and controlling other smart home devices.
Can virtual assistants teach us about sex and contraception?
We were honored to have been selected as one of six finalists in the SXSW EDU Amazon Alexa EdTech Skills Challenge, charged with the exciting task of developing a new education-focused Alexa Skill to help students, teachers, or school administrators, using Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa.
Standard school-based, one-size-fits-all, “safer sex” messages fail to speak to the needs and complexities of teens’ lived realities. These impersonal and scripted approaches can cause young people to feel disengaged and disconnected from traditional sex ed, and they may then engage in sexual risk-taking behaviors. These approaches also often fail to resolve the stigma and shame that plagues human sexuality.
How do I avoid vagina farting? Can you get pregnant from a blow job? Will my penis fall off if I masturbate too much? Yes, these are real questions, from real students. What if we could use voice-activated technology to learn about sex???
What It Is
Hush Hush is an Alexa-driven (i.e., voice-activated technology), trusted, and confidential mentor that engages students in relevant, thoughtful, and personalized sex education conversations. Youth can confidentially explore gender and sexuality, assess relationships, choose a birth control method, get non-judgmental guidance through complicated love and sex dilemmas, and more.
Why It Matters
Because gender identity and sexual health conversations can carry heavy burdens of social stigma and shame, this technology can work as an equalizer. Youth living in communities where sexual health services and education are limited can still get the information needed to make healthy sexual decisions in the privacy of their home, through their Alexa device or companion app.
This technololgy can work as an equalizer, improving access to sexual health services and education.
Hush Hush is still in the testing phase, but we will share more information soon about how you can try it out.
Beyond Hush Hush, we are eagerly pursuing ways to expand and boost the skill’s machine learning and AI (i.e., artificial intelligence) capabilities to equip students with even more knowledge that will support and motivate sexual health and well-being.
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